—FOREST Since taking the reins at Four Seasons Singapore’s Jiang Nan Chun at the age of 28, Sam Leong has seldom been out of the limelight. Still, Forest at Resorts World Sentosa is perhaps the homegrown celebrity chef ’s most defining moment to date. When he can be torn away from posing for pictures with fans in the restaurant’s pillared dining room, Leong commands an open kitchen churning out degustation-style courses in two distinct tones. Leong’s classic Chinese dishes (double-boiled essence of sea whelk in chicken consommé with fresh cordyceps) are hearty and comforting, though his modern Asian creations (Wagyu beef with yuzuinfused foie gras, salmon skin, and torched sea urchin in ginger dressing) will linger longer in the memory (Equarius Hotel, 8 Sentosa Gateway; 65/6577-7788).
—LA CANTINE Another Ménard-Bendel collaboration, this brasserie goes back to basics with French comfort food enlivened with dashes of gastronomic pizzazz: prized Cévennes onions are churned into silky Chantillyinfused onion broth with morsels of foie gras, while roasted lamb chops arrive coated with a layer of mild wasabi-scented tarragon paste alongside a ramekin of creamy gratin dauphinois. Like the food, the whimsical interior of inverted wooden chandeliers and tin-clad walls helps to set this fun-loving spot apart from the crowd (#01-01 Asia Square Tower 1, 8 Marina View; 65/6690-7567).
—OLA COCINA DEL MAR The closure of Santi at Marina Bay Sands has opened a new door for Daniel Chavez and Pepe Moncayo, the former right- and left-hand men of the renowned late chef Santi Santamaria. Now co-owners of Ola Cocina Del Mar, the duo have eschewed highbrow cuisine in favor of rustic Spanish cooking, such as a tapa of toast crowned with anchovies, figs, and a cherry tomato. Though the window-less restaurant offers no views, the golden-brown suckling pig shoulder is an eyeful in itself (12 Marina Blvd., Marina Bay Financial Centre Tower 3; 65/6604-7050).